It is rare that I will write a post about a piece of proprietary software but in this case one is well overdue. I have been using Pidgin with the Skype plugin but it seems that social networks change their requirements so that opensource solutions are unable to keep up with them in many cases. Anyway, enough. This is about Franz.
Franz is a messaging app of messaging apps. Or in other words if you have multiple messaging accounts and you want to view them in one place then this is the application for you. There are more than 70 services supported on the premium version. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Slack, Telegram, Twitter and many many more. I say the premium version as it also supports Nextcloud Talk but to use your personal server you need the premium version of the software. It’s not actually that expensive either at around €36 for the personal account if you pay for a whole year.
The free account allows you to choose three services though and that is enough to start with and see if you like it.
To install Franz on Ubuntu 18.04 go to the website and create an account. You can also do this later in the application but it is just as easy to do it first.
Then on the download page click on Ubuntu under Franz for Linux. At the time of writing this will download franz_5.4.0_amd64.deb. You can also choose to install it in the Software Manager which works fine.
On first opening the application will ask you to choose some services to activate. I chose Skype and Twitter and it was here that I ran into a problem. It added these services but never asked me for a username or password and it just showed me a blank screen when I clicked on the service menu. There also seemed to be nothing on the Internet. Eventually I was so confused that I went and installed the program under Windows and there it worked correctly by asking me for my username and passwords and logging in.
On returning to Ubuntu it also worked correctly. I am unsure whether this was because I had restarted, installed it on Windows or whether there was an update (There was one on Windows) but ever since it has worked perfectly.